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The Gin Game

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(Jul 08, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore reunite in their first acting performance together since "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-66), the classic comedy series for which both stars earned multiple Emmy Awards. Newly filmed in high definition. This powerfully bittersweet comedy follows the relationship that develops between nursing home residents Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin during a series of gin games in which their ailments, misfortunes and losses are exposed in funny, honest and increasingly heated moments. Stars Emmy-winning actors Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People) and Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)

Amazon.com

Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, performing together for the first time since the heady days of The Dick Van Dyke Show, demonstrate the natural chemistry that made them television icons so long ago. In this skillful TV-movie of D.L. Coburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Van Dyke and Moore play two elderly people who fight loneliness, loss, and each other while playing cards at a nursing home. The game reflects their approach to life as much as card-playing--but if you expect an easy, sentimental journey, you'll be surprised. Both Weller (Van Dyke) and Fonsia (Moore) have led unhappy lives, marred by misfortune and the spoils of their own difficult personalities. The dark undertone of their quarreling makes The Gin Game a potent piece of work, and these two old pros tear into their parts without fear or compromise, finding both humor and bitterness. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Annie Abbott, Sheila Rogers, Alessandro Mastrobuono
  • Directors: Arvin Brown
  • Writers: D.L. Coburn
  • Producers: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ellen M. Krass, Monica Levinson, Ted Hartley
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Unknown
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009Q4VT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,329 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Gin Game" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
DVD and MTM do a passable job in the production of The Gin Game, but what was their greatest asset in the old Dick Van Dyke series becomes their Achilles heel here, namely their strong chemistry as a team. I just couldn't get past the feeling that these people had known each other for decades, and knew each other's every quirk. In this show, that gets in the way of the story line that revolves around two elderly strangers getting to know and dislike one another and go through the process of accepting each other (and themselves) for who they are. It's too bad that they picked this particular project for their long-awaited reunion.

I was privileged to see the incomperable Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in the original stage production of this play. Strangely enough, although they also were a team of VERY long standing, they were able to overcome this issue. I understand that a VHS version of that performance is floating around. I strongly recommend seeing that, if you can.
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For those of us who find the use of the "F" word absolutely hysterical in this award winning play, the actors do a nice job. The ulitmate version of this great play is of course the Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn version, which left to the decisions of twenty-something executives will never be released and lost to history. What a shame. If someone can find the old VHS and pirate it, there would be a fortune to be made. Put me down as first in line to buy a copy.
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Format: DVD
Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore team up again in 2003's "The Gin Game", a PBS-TV production which had me smiling and laughing out loud for much of its 87-minute running time. But, in addition to some side-splitting dialogue, there are some serious and touching moments as well.
Dick and Mary are a joy to watch together again in this simple story of two elderly residents of an old-folks home, who fill their days and nights by playing Gin Rummy and discussing their lives with each other.
If you're expecting nice, clean, sugar-coated dialogue from these two former television icons, think again. The script bristles with just about every four-letter word you can imagine. So you probably won't want to let young children view this movie.
I was quite surprised at the amount of salty language contained here...but pleasantly surprised. Dick Van Dyke's dialogue seems very "real" indeed. He talks just like you'd expect a crusty old geezer who's been put in a retirement home to talk -- complete with an assortment of expletives that many times had me howling with bursts of laughter. Dick is hysterical in this film. But he's also got some good serious moments in the movie as well.
Mary, as always, is also outstanding here too. And she gets off a few spicy zingers of her own (though not nearly as many as Mr. Van Dyke does).
I was a bit disappointed in the ending. I would have preferred an additional scene tacked on to the last reel, altering the rather downbeat ending that we get here. But, even without a "smiley face" ending, I still enjoyed this motion picture very much.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
D.L. Coburn's 1976 play suffers here from it's own apparent weaknesses. Starting out strong, you'll likely be impressed and enjoy the two star's interaction. The story really goes downhill in the last third, leaving us with a pointless non-ending. Moore and Van Dyke were more than game, but couldn't sell the downhill ending. Again, I think the fault lies with the play itself.

I'd like to see the earlier Cronyn & Tandy version.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Two great actors in a movie. This movie caught me off guard in the end. Dick Van Dyke really played a new role which he did well. Mary Tyler Moore also did a great job. I am glad Amazon had this in stock. I wouldn't have found this in the stores.
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I love Dick Van Dyke but this is NOT his best movie. It is boring actually and all he does is curse though out the whole movie--which really didn't add to the movie at all. The ending was a disappointment also. It will go in with the collection of other movies by him but I won't watch it again.
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This was a very good play with Dick Van Dyke & Mary Tyler Moore, but I really wish you could find a DVD of the play with Hume & Jessica as the players. They were the best!!! It was on Video Tape but someone should come out with a DVD!!!!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Saw on Broadway with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. Not since. This did not seem like the same, but then it's been a long time. This was ok but more surly and antagonistic than I remembered. Lots of swearing and posturing by Van Dyke. Not the comedy I remembered.
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